Friday, 25 January 2008

The stomach beetle

Imagine you had a small beetle in your stomach. It slept most of the time, for your stomach acids kept it slumbering, but occasionally, when the floodwaters of your body receded, it was revealed in all its hideous glory.
I imagine it would flash green if examined in the light; the glint of a torch beam reflecting a gleam more powerful than emerald. You may feel like bowing low before this scarab. But it wouldn't stay in the open air for too long, it must swiftly find its host.
Inside the sanctuary of the stomach its carapace armour lifts and beats, causing it to zoom and fly about your innerds. With each pulsing stroke of wing, the air within grows foul. It churns and farts within this chamber and seeks a tunnel, an escape.
The scarab lands on slimy wall and digs in with clamping feet, drawing blood. Pincers work on soft tissue and the internal stabs cause wrenching then wretching.
Some beetles may spray strange toxins, acids and heinous clouds of choke from their base orifices. This action is translated and replicated by the host. A sacreligious act, one of the sociopath, one to cause derision and even blind panic upon the underground train.
Ride the wave, though. Ride the crest of the nausea, of the sweaty seance of the long night, of the dread deluge, and hide 'mongst unclean sheets. For the seas will once more rise, and the scarab will be covered and will sleep once more like foul Cthulhu. Remember your trials, remember how you survived. Prepare for when he comes again.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

The Flower

The afternoon is like the open ocean - it has very little life.
So let me tell you a funny little story about a teenage guy named Pepe. He was French, but his family dubbed him Pepe - after the little skunk in the cartoons.
Well, Pepe one day sniffed a flower and began to grow fur. It was a gradual process but one he loved. He would feverishly scratch at his skin as the hair follacles opened up about his body. Black fur here, white fur there, it really was an enjoyable process and a fascinating colour scheme to Pepe.
His family were little amused by this growth and proceeded to call in the eminent Dr Wenders. The good doctor had built up a reputation after treating a boy who thought he was a cat, and went on to successfully rehabilitate two young children who had been reared by wild dogs in Belarus. He had, however, once failed to help a young girl who grew hair like a monkey and was determined not to lose Pepe like he had done Brunhilde on that fateful spring day in 1983.
Wenders concluded, after his first meeting with Pepe, that his was a particularly unusual case and that his hair growth was so rapid as to suggest purposeful experimentation or the intervention of Jehovah himself.
He worked closely with the young man, encouraging him to shave where possible and resist the urge to spray effluent at his parents when they came too near. But Wenders was driven mad over the course of the next year by his failure to save the boy's humanity and was committed to the asylum of St Malo in September 1995.
Around a month earlier Pepe had escaped from his bedroom cage when his nurse came to feed him one morning. His parents decided to leave the barred windows on the house to remind the children and other young men and women of the neighbourhood of Pepe's plight and of what might happen if you go around sniffing flowers.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Conversation fuel

“Pirates are comical creations,” said Ginny. “All day long swinging from ropes and having cutlass fights. I haven’t much time for them.”
What does she mean, ‘she hasn’t much time for them’? Has she ever met a pirate? The only pirate she’s met is the Chinese guy who comes around when the football’s on and asks if you’d like to buy a knock-off DVD.
I know Matty is thinking the same thing. Good old Matt, good old Matthew - he always wears his heart on his sleeve and has scrunched up his face like he’s been dealt a terrific fart, face-first. That means he thinks she’s full of bull.
Susan is next. She sits primly, her hands about her legs. I’m sure she wears stockings under that polite exterior. Little minx - she taunts us men with her sexuality, never quite boiling over so that we’re never sure - perhaps she is frigid? Perhaps Dean is correct?
I think Dean tried it on with her - it doesn’t matter, does it? Dean’s not here and I am and so are you.
So, who else is here? Well there’s Pollo, yeah you think you know about him already, but you’ve never seen him at a party. He looks like a suit, but he’s a parlour demon. I once saw him cupping three asses and not one his own!
Heggarty is behind the bar tonight - did you notice? Yeah, he’s been watching you, but he hasn’t served a drink? Maybe he’ll serve you? Go over and see?
Ha - as if you haven’t got money! I’ll swap whatever’s in your pockets for the contents of mine anyanyday! You crack me up. So tell me what the big man said to you when you asked to know the rules of dice.
Yes! Funny as… You can’t help yourself can you? Just like the time when that band stopped playing and asked you to stop singing along.
I know, it’s not the same at all, but I just wanted to bring it up again.
“Hey you guys, did you hear about the time when…”

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Borrowing time

I plonked myself down on a plastic moulded chair.
The library, such as it was. A meagre array of workstations full of kids wanting to surf the ‘net for pictures of their favourite bands. A collection of slightly out-of-date reference books, their almost still factual information rendering them, in fact, completely useless.
Behind me I could hear the jabbering of a male teenage student. A highly impressionable girl had sat opposite him and was taking great delight in being regaled by this lad whom, it became apparent, was named John.
I returned to my book, as far as I was able. I managed to block most of the sound, or at least stop it from registering as coherent information, until a young Chinese student broke my concentration.
He seemed to be asking John if he knew where ‘Beccy’ was. John was polite enough but seemed slightly embarrassed in front of the unnamed female. He got rid of the other male.
“Howd’ya know him?”
“From music.”
“What’s he like?”
“Alright, like.”
Later they left and I looked up pictures of Chinese people on Google.
I don't remember how long it was until another person entered the room. I wish I had somewhere to be.

Monday, 21 January 2008

The hellhound trail

Over the clunk of the denk, black moor came the barghest, following.
There was a change in the weather, perhaps rain, and the night birds stirred in the hollow trees and the leaves very quivered.
Singing fur rustled as the first drops of rain fell bluntly on the runk black dog. His howl came bellowing like a rusted tuba; was he in pain, did God’s water threaten his eminence?
Into the tree cover padded a wheezing gentleman. He slobbered and spat his effluvium onto a blistered trunk. The barghest was almost upon him and he felt its powerful sight splitting the atoms of the wood surrounding, not even straining to peek.
From the woodland edge, he could see lights whizzing by below at the foot of the moor where the A-roads bled rubber and the dwellings began.
A viscous growling bent through the bark and swirled a cloud of greasy panic about the wood. Nature sighed and passed out as the barghest set foot in the glade.
A turn of the head - what a foolish thought or action when terror can guide you home - to see remoteness and infinity bearing splintered fangs and auburn eyes.
A freezing step is managed before the ice clamps its vice about you. The barghest bites once and leaves. The man tumbles down from hillside to roadside and sleeps among such tall grasses that can choose to cover bodies from urban eyes.
But he wakes. Wakes into a world where the rain has caught fire and is drenching him so that his spine very creaks.
He staggers across busy road and lives. The fox that follows is cut in two by a bus.
Through the park and play-area, filled with frogs croaking a path to the housing estate, he knows he must be bleeding but the rain has stained his clothes so.
There is one light on in his cul-de-sac, and but one door left ajar. It is his house, and his wife waits up for him.
He knows she smiles as she calls from the lounge that she’s kept his dinner warm for him. The kitchen table is lit by candles. Upon a silver dish and carved for two is a man’s soul.
This man sits down and waits for his wife to enter the kitchen. He strokes his sopping scalp and waits for her to serve.